Tuesday, April 25, 2006

funny guy

In 2003, I voted for Stan Glazer to be mayor. I didn't think he'd be a good mayor, but I didn't think he'd be awful. One thing I particularly liked about him was that he talked often of "the little guy." I thought he might bring a sort of bottom-up perspective to KC's power structure. He's not in the in-crowd. Which is good because I've only lived here for six years and I've long been fed up with the in-crowd.

I'd been planning to vote for Glazer the next time around until I read Nadia Pflaum's excellent profile of him. When I got to the part where he tells one of the most obnoxious racist jokes I've ever heard I decided there's no way in hell I'll ever vote for him.

It's not just that he told the joke, though that probably should be enough, because it was a truly awful joke, and I would never tell a joke like that in any company, and I'd be genuinely pissed at anyone who would. It's that he told the joke in the presence of a reporter from the only media outlet in the city that is guaranteed to publish it. I mean, that's just common knowledge. Say something stupid, the Pitch is gonna print it.

What a freakin' idiot!

And they say one of his most promising assets is that he'll be a good salesman for the city? Puh-lease! Like I want an uncivilized buffoon like that representing us. God knows what he might say.

Oh sure, he was quick to admit that the joke was racist, and that black comedians use the N-word all the time. And Nadia deftly included all the context. But it still shows that he ain't got a clue how to act. I mean, yeah, blacks use the n-word. But whites don't. Especially whites that are angling to represent blacks as mayor. Glazer should know that. (Might not seem fair. But when it comes to unfair, blacks clearly have a lot more room to complain.)

I think I'm gonna write in Michelle Singletary. She isn't eligible, and probably wouldn't take it if she were. But the city needs someone with her ethos.


heidi said...

I wrote in Mark Funkhouser, the city auditor, in that Barnes-Glazer mayoral election. He wasn't running, but it was at least a choice I felt good about.

Anonymous said...

It wasn't the N-word that was obnoxious, it was the punch line. I mean, sure the N-word was obnoxious, but Glazer didn't seem the least bit defensive about the stereotype in the punchline: that blacks would rather steal the pearly gates than walk through them. I can't get too upset with a comedian who tries to reduce vicious epithets to a mere joke, but when his racism overwhelms the effort and compromises it, well, forget him.

joe said...

Agreed. It was the punchline that was most offensive.

Anonymous said...

Joe Bus drivers are on strike! I'm scared.

Eric Barton said...

What's interesting about that joke is the reaction it got around the Pitch office before we ran the piece. Some found it offensive and proof that there's a shred of racist in the guy. Others saw it as just Stan the Man, a guy who says inappropriate things at really dumb-ass moments, but still has a heart of gold. I don't know what's in his heart, but I do know that was one bad joke.